Kenya’s IT retailer and reseller PC World has announced that it plans to merge its operations with a group of local investors with a range of interests in various business sectors at the end of May 2016.
According to an article in Channel EMEA, PC World expects to increase its retail outlets to 12 across Kenya and staff to about 100.
PC World, established in 1995, currently has 45 staff, 5 retail outlets and annual sales in excess of Kshs 550 million (US $5.5 million) with sales derived from government, corporate and SMEs, according to the Channel EMEA article.
“This merger will see our company grow to the next level and maximise the full potential the market has to offer…The merger will allow us to grow rapidly moving forward. The trend we are noticing is that with the increased traffic and congestion in the city, customers are becoming more decentralised and prefer to shop at stores and malls nearer to their homes,” said Bobby Gadhia, PC World Kenya CEO.
PC World currently caters to the middle and upper income bracket customers where price sensitivity is lower, allowing the company to achieve better margins than some competing retailers.
“Others concentrate on the low income bracket where price sensitivity is high,” explained Gadhia. “Our business model is not based around price. It is based around experience and value for money.”
PC World Kenya launched its website four years ago and today it is offers full e-commerce functionality. The company continues to see more purchasing moving online, with many consumers accessing the internet through smartphones. Significant challenges remain for consumer technology retailers in Kenya, according to Gadhia.
After the merger, PC World plans to start distributing some products that fit in the retail space as it believes there is a gap in this segment according to Gadhia.